In the last several years, however, the neuroscientist, political commentator, and podcaster Sam Harris has repeatedly argued that Hume was wrong. He suggests that you can, in fact, infer an “ought” from an “is.”
Harris promises the possibility of being able to conclude from facts about the world that there is indeed a right and wrong, a good and bad. Ultimately, though, it’s a promise he can’t keep.
Archives For philosophy
The so called postmodernists had a different view on the matter. They apparently thought that all this arguing is too much of a hassle, so they decided to make it simpler by drastically lowering the standards of what should count as an argument. That is why you can find sentences such as: “It is the horizon itself that is in movement: the relative horizon recedes when the subject advances, but on the plane of immanence we are always and already on the absolute horizon.” (That is an actual sentence from What is Philosophy, by the French duo Deleuze and Guattari.) The first and most obvious thing about this sentence is how convoluted and apparently meaningless it is. But while there are ways by which one can navigate the jargon and find some meaning in these words, there is no justification for it; no argument to demonstrate that “on the plane of immanence we are on the absolute horizon.”
As I said, Brazil’s situation is not the same as in the US. Intersectionality has just now started creeping out in the media and academia, and college campuses are part of a slowly bubbling debate on free speech. Still, in other aspects Brazil seems to be ahead of the postmodern curve when compared with America. Postmodern thought is prevalent from high school onwards and I am sure that it is at least part of the reason why, despite heavy investments in education and a growing number of college enrollments, Brazil’s education seems not to have improved at all in the last decade.
I recently was entangled in a contentious discussion with a mutual acquaintance in which a political topic was dissected namely whether there is more credence with the social selection versus the Darwinian sexual selection theory. At the conclusion of this discussion the individual proceeded to espouse the belief that I am not only bigoted but not taking politics seriously and thus giving off “bad vibes.” To this balderdash I am perfectly content to not have this individuals approval. I believe that everyone ought to not seek the approval of other men but rather the eternal and this is why I have no qualms with disagreeing with anyone in my life even those I love. On the surface it may seem a bit rigid of me to not concede a point in an attempt to be conciliatory but I believe in standing behind your convictions. If there is anything I have learned from my walk in life as a 21st century Christian is that certain tenets and positions are not going to be wildly accepted by the masses and I accept this reality. In today’s relativistic society we live in it is viewed as a moral imperative to not judge others on their actions or question the popular activist ideologies of the day. The political left leaning ideologies in particular have shown an intolerance to evidence that counters their dogmatic claims about how societies are and function. They place human pleasure, disguised as personal autonomy, higher than anything else. To be accepted in public life as a good person, any man or woman must publicly accede to certain pillars of secular faith, above all personal autonomy in matters of sex and cohabitation, (and drugs). This is why I am not particularly interested in serious political discussions nor do I take them especially serious. Often they involve discussions between opposing views that are so entrenched that neither is willing to step off their ideological cliff into the abyss which leads to a stand still from the start. Moreover these discussions involve a particular party in the discussion appearing to be interested in conversing but in actuality is more interested in attempting to set an ideological trap under the guise of genuinely being interested in your thoughts. These kind of silly games that take place on social media disinterest me which is why I rarely if ever commentate on the postings of others. The political landscapes and evolution of political ideas interests me greatly but in practice it is merely dreary and dull partisan games. Furthermore I see constantly on social media platforms where individuals are clearly far too emotionally invested in the particular topic to discuss it in any meaningful way. This is why although I can empathize with the individual I am addressing I am in large part unable to be that emotionally invested in a position even one where I am personally effected. Many cannot do this.
I thought in this second part I would address another personal happening which is that lately I have had multiple sources relate that I make someone uncomfortable either due to body language or otherwise. This seems to be a new phenomena which I have not really dealt with but I will do my best to explain my thought processes. Firstly I often feel that I am living in a bygone age whilst still trapped in the modern society that we have today. I believe this is in large part manifested by my love of antiques as well as history coupled by the fact I learned the classics in school (Roman and Greek). My rather stoic demeanor was in large part effected by the environments which I lived in and the experiences that I had during my childhood. When I was younger I like many people was a very talkative individual who spoke when it was not wise and refused to be quiet unless told. However this greatly changed as I have matured over the years. I have since become far more introspective of a person and much more prone to thinking than talking. After all countless proverbs give the great wisdom which I agree with that silence is often one of the greatest tools that you can use. vir sapit qui pauca loquitur (that man is wise who talks little), qui moderatur sermones suos doctus est (He that hath knowledge spareth his words), stultus quoque si tacuerit sapiens putabitur (Even the fool, if he holds his tongue, is considered wise), si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses (If you had kept silent, you would have remained a philosopher.) These are just some examples off the top of my head. This is in large part why I am rather cautious when speaking around groups of people especially if the topic of discussion is something outside of my knowledge or expertise. Unfortunately this approach seems to be getting construed as an inability to conduct conversations or address individuals at all which I believe is utter nonsense. I simply speak when I have something to say and believe that by saying little it magnifies the impact when I do speak. I reject the idea that I must behave in certain ways to appease individuals whose approval I care nothing for. Other than my significant other whom I adore and cherish I have little desire to be predictable for others to digest easily. I see no issue with listening intently to conversations and contributing what I see fit.
Apologies for the rather long screed but I felt compelled to write these thoughts down as I reflected on this interaction and respective feedback. Perhaps if I can think of more to address I will add a part two.
Greeks talk a whole pile of nonsense. Fuck’em.